We can all feel the weather getting warmer, stormier, scarier; and we can all see it becoming dirtier too, on land and especially in the sea – and we have no one to blame but ourselves. For some obscure reason, humans have attached themselves to […]
Are your daily activities pushing your carbon footprint over an unsustainable limit? Or have you come to a crossroads, wondering how and where to reduce your carbon footprint next? First things first, before you begin to reduce your carbon footprint, it is beneficial to know […]
Earth, our one and only home, is in a state of disarray as the clutter from our homes escapes into the wild and ends up in the strangest of places.
In recent months, whales have perished from ingesting too much plastic, including missing flip flops and golf balls, random items floating among thousands of plastic straws; birds are feeling the ill effects too. The damage has been done and it will continue until it peaks, as all environmental catastrophes do.
How did we create this un-/cleanable mess and what are we going to do to stop it?
One cannot pinpoint the exact beginning, but it seems to have started somewhere around the discovery of plastics. This, in turn, led to disposable products with a short lifespan in the home and a much longer life of 500+ years, possibly forever, in nature.
In a matter of decades, our disposable incomes were able to absorb what industry had created to keep our hands and our minds occupied. It is not wise to point fingers, as we are all on the guilty side.
Corporations and businesses in general, are often guilty of clever advertising and cheap products that cannot be repaired. We, the people, are blameworthy for wanting more, and more, and newer, better; an upgrade to keep up with fast-paced-get-it-or-be-left-behind changing technology.
Let’s set guilt, shame and any hard feelings aside for the moment, so that we may expand our ecological consciousness, because it goes hand in hand so well with mindful minimalism.
Ecologically conscious beings look at the planet as a whole and indivisible ecosystem, where every living creature is worth knowing. This includes plants, animals, trees, insects – the good, the bad and the ugly.
We are not above any of them. We are in fact, equal.
We breathe the same air, we all drink the same water. We all take what we need and leave the rest in place, oh, if only it were so easy! Humans have developed a habit of creating whatever nature hasn’t already dreamt up for us, as a result, our lives are focused on comfort, softness, warmth and convenience.
Cars take us places further than our feet can walk, microwaves cook at alarmingly fast speeds, fast fashion jumps into our closets at a cheap price and we take it all in, that is, until we start questioning where we may have gone wrong.
The problems with overconsumption
When we buy more than we need, we are sometimes left with debt, remorse or the need for a storage unit. None of these have room in a happy, stress-free life. Think about how many non-essential items you buy a year, such as:
- Luxury items
- Items on sale
- Eating out
- Extra storage space (digital or physical)
- Vacations to faraway places
- Anything that goes above and beyond what you already own
Could you have done without any of them? Are you willing to give any of those “luxuries” up for the sake of living simply?
Consumerism plays with our emotions, suggesting us that in order to fit in, we need to both dress and act the part. Nothing could be further from the truth, for when we choose mindful minimalism as one of our core values in life, not only are we taking wonderful care of our mental and physical well-being, we inevitably take great care of the Earth too.
Naturally, as we consume less, the amount of plastic packaging goes down. As we choose to eat a place-based diet, we eliminate senseless food miles in favor of plants and animals that are suited to our locale.
As we step into a minimalist wardrobe sourced from ethical fabrics, created by smaller brands and local artisans, we are stating a case against the over-production of fast fashion. And as we lessen our carbon footprints, choosing not to fly, we are left with the opportunity to travel slowly and take the landscape in.
The further we fall into an eco-minimalist mindset, we begin to unclutter our homes and find that we have more moments in the day to shut off all technology and get outside, relishing in the chance to embrace nature instead.
Minimalism is a lifestyle, as much as it is a state of mind. One can either love it or loathe it, depending on their point of reference. If it is forced, then the act of living simply and frugally is no good. When it is welcomed, every day will be met with joy.
Mindful minimalism, ecological consciousness and climate change go hand in hand.
Shop less, live more – that is the plan! If you are concerned about climate change and wondering what you can do to ease the situation ahead:
- Instead of buying what you need, make do with what you have
- Plant trees to offset worldwide carbon emissions
- Get involved with beach/forest/stream garbage clean-ups
Anywhere and everywhere there is nature, let’s pick up the clutter we have created and stop buying into more of the same!
As green living mentors we are here to guide you along the way, as you (re)discover and (re)awaken your ecological conscience.
Has the state of the environment influenced your decision to become a mindful minimalist? We’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!
In our personal lives as a family of three (comprising of two stay-at-home entrepreneurs and a life-learner child), we have found the following benefits to be outstanding in the quest of embracing a sustainable life. Profoundness The most convincing – and even viscerally felt to […]
Nearly 30,000 years ago, perhaps even earlier, humans decided that it was high time to cover our feet, the earliest footwear being earthing sandals – to walk faster, to run free and to stride more comfortably on Earth. We absorbed the comforts of cushioning our […]
Quiet, reserved, exceedingly thoughtful and not stepping into the spotlight any time soon – all traits to be admired and appreciated in the realm of silent changemakers.
One may think, by the sheer clamor alone, that it is the noise-makers who fabricate greater impacts in the world, yet it often happens that their words fall short in front of their inspired actions. While the ability to speak volumes may favor an extrovert in being an activist, shouting and parading down the street for all the world to see, especially where the environment is concerned, it has been said that sustainability starts at home – the very place where introverts gather.
Introverts will quietly save the Earth
Introverts, empaths and highly sensitive people are contemplative beings, and we are very much in favor of the Earth. We recognize the need to love it and preserve it for future generations. Nature, like us, is quiet, calculated and patient, sometimes annoyingly so. It only flares up during a storm, then quickly settles down into familiar patterns. It doesn’t host wild parties with loud music and forced conversation, nor does it expect everyone to interact verbosely.
Nature, in fact, focuses its power on subtlety and prefers its own version of quiet time. It is only in the human world that we create a cacophony of noise from sunup to sundown, continuing straight through the night in most city-scapes.
Have you ever camped a night, twenty miles or more from civilization? No lights, besides the embers and flames of the campfire. No sounds, except for the creeping steps of a few night dwellers. Night, outside of the city is silent and dark, and it is an amazingly beautiful place to be – at one with the wilderness.
You may still be thinking, how does this relate to introverts saving the planet?
First of all, introverts inherently care deeply for the environment. They can relate to the lone wolf, just as much as they can to the nearly silent pollinator butterflies. Emotions run high in a natural setting, and we are able to notice them if we are quiet, and calm enough, to tune into their frequency. Patience. That is a recurring word both in the life of an introvert, and in the life of a tree. Patience takes us far and keeps us grounded at the same time.
Introverts are excellent at making individual, lasting changes to their lifestyles, due to the fact that we don’t always try to fit in. This allows us to try on new ways of thinking, within the privacy of our own lives. We may choose to create a capsule wardrobe that allows us to wear our favorite set of clothes, day after day. We may choose to mend, or even design our own clothes from sustainable materials – and silently be proud of them! – after all, we have the ambition to sit for long hours with knitting needles in our hands and an audiobook by our side.
We care for our personal health, just as we care for the wellbeing of others, four-legged creatures included. As smart consumers, we first begin to adjust our purchasing behaviors when we sense the muchness of the world and how it damages the landscapes and oceanscapes far away, then we act on them wholeheartedly. In the journey of discovering eco-minimalism, one may even decide to give up chemicals in favor of a healthier home, making their own environmentally safe cleaning products from essential oils and benign ingredients.
Once we realize what is good for us, is good for the Earth, and what is bad for us, is bad for the Earth, then we are in a great place to shift our paradigm.
A sustainable life is ours for the taking!
We just need to ask for it and we will be rewarded with the task to design it the way we choose it to look, all from the quiet and comfort of our own home. It is often the simple, everyday actions that are overlooked when it comes to calculating our carbon footprint. If we can work from home, rather than commute far distances, we are doing wonderful, it suits us introverts anyway. If you are not yet in that position to follow your passion from home, start thinking about how to create the ideal situation that would allow you to flourish and thrive from your private sphere.
What other simple actions can introverts take to start protecting the environment from the comfort of their loving homes?
- Eat locally, or grow your own – food miles quickly add up!
- Go plastic-free, even zero-waste, as much as possible.
- Walk, bike or use a car share when you do go out.
- Print as little as necessary, and handwrite the rest.
- Opt out of mail that ends up directly in the recycling bin – it may take a thoughtful letter, or your presence in person to end the wasteful correspondence.
- Conserve energy and water, open the windows and let in some fresh air.
- Plant a tree and/or invest in a reforestation scheme – the world can never have too many trees! Bring potted plants into your home to help clean the air.
- Get outside and walk/hike/exercise in nature to restore your spirit and your love for the natural world.
At the same time, it will be to your benefit to unclutter your home and get rid of all that no longer serves you. Gift items away to those in need, safely recycle or throw away the rest. A life that is full of space and light, allows for creativity to enter, it also fosters awareness about how much is enough. Once you realize that you have enough stuff, you can focus on the joys and experiences of a life lived well, closer to nature.
Introverts can save the planet as they do not stay silent on topics that they are passionate about. If you are concerned about the future of life on our planet, start taking inspired actions of sustainability today and become the #sustainablechange. The Earth is counting on you!
If you’d like to take your unconditional love for the Earth one step further, Cheryl is here to guide you for 3 months as a sustainable life designer dedicated to working with intellectual introverts. See if Sustainable Life Design for Intellectual Introverts is right for you and claim your spot today! Quietly change your eco-behaviors and inspire others to help save the world!